I have an occasional series called shopping cart brags in which I not only explain how much I took home for a relatively low out of pocket cost, I explain how it was done and how it fits with things we actually eat / want / use.

I went to Kroger in Monroe, Mich., today with a very stuffed coupon box, a specific list of things we did need, and the willingness to work with whatever the deals of the day would be.

This is what I took home for $40.12 plus nine manufacturer coupons, and strategic shopping after I looked over the sales flier:

Paper napkins, wheat bread, hamburger buns, four boxes cereal, two packages cookies, one bottle salad dressing, one can tuna, one can Miracle Whip, four cans pineapple, one package chicken thighs, one carton ice cream, bananas, two gallons milk, one stick package of margarine, one tub package of margarine, eight cups of yogurt, one roll Bob Evans sausage, and one package “neon” food coloring because I thought that would be fun for the eggs this Easter.

Kroger’s math says this was a shopping trip with 44 percent savings.

What’s for dinner tonight? I needed the buns for that – I have some leftover shredded chicken that will become sandwiches. I already have fries and carrots at home.

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